I was a Sari

I was a Sari

Business partner since April 2020

I was a Sari makes lifestyle clothing and accessories, turning pre-loved Indian saris into unique new products. In a world where profit margins are all too often the absolute priority, I was a Sari sees things differently – taking an eco-ethical approach to fashion. I was a Sari is implementing a sustainable model which focuses on a “triple bottom line” – constantly analyzing its social, environmental and financial impact. It invests all its profits back into developing the brand and advancing its main cause – the empowerment of women.

I was a Sari is the flagship brand under the registered company 2nd Innings Handicrafts Pvt Ltd which is founded and managed by Stefano Funari, and Italian who has been living in India since 2009. The idea for starting I was a Sari stems from 2013 when Stefano entered the workshop of a sari dealer in an old market in Mumbai, realizing he had come across the definition of circular economy. From floor to ceiling the shop was packed with saris, all waiting for a second life. Stefano was convinced that with this fabric supply, he could create livelihoods for disadvantaged women from the Mumbai area.

I was a Sari finds support from Italian brand Gucci, through its Gucci Equilibrium, a destination designed to connect people, planet and purpose. Gucci is committed to transferring knowledge and left-over materials to be up-cycled by I was a Sari to produce one-off handcrafted designs. By harnessing Gucci’s strategic expertise, creativity and reach, I was a Sari breaks new ground in the socially-driven fashion sector.

Women on Wings and I was a Sari have agreed to collaborate to create livelihood opportunities for women in rural India engaged with I was a Sari. The relationship with the artisans and the entire training and production process is managed through its two NGO’s partners: Community Outreach Program and Animedh Charitable Trust.

“Fantastic experts, board members, employees and other stakeholders support us in our work and share the same ambition: to take rural families out of poverty by creating employment for women.”

Maria van der Heijden
Co-founder at Women on Wings